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French international punished for trying to feign injury

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

A growing trend in rugby that is concerning many people is players feigning injuries to catch the attention of the referee. 

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This is most often seen when a ball carrier feels they have been tackled late or high and lie on the ground waiting to catch the referee’s attention. 

This is often helped by members of the medical team rushing to the player’s attention, not only creating a muddle in the middle of the field but also obstructing play sometimes. 

A raucous home crowd can help the acting player with a cacophony of jeers, usually forcing the referee to confer with the television match official. 

This is something that is happening more and more frequently, but it was handled brilliantly by referee Thomas Charabas in La Rochelle’s contest with Montpellier in the most recent round of Top 14 action when France centre Geoffrey Doumayrou tried to pull the wool over the official’s eyes. 

(Continue reading below…)

World Cup-winning skipper Siya Kolisi speaks about his current injury

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After grabbing onto Montpellier hooker Bismarck du Plessis in a ruck, the former Springbok slapped his shoulder to make him let go. 

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The 30-year-old Doumayrou lay prone on the floor after that impact and was soon joined by the medical team, forcing the play to stop. 

Upon looking at the replay, Charabas reprimanded the 13-cap international, saying (translated on Twitter): “Was it worth it to stop the game for that? I’m not sure that it is necessary to stop the game for that.”

Doumayrou was later red-carded for a tip tackle on Frans Steyn, for which he received a five-week ban on Wednesday. 

He also was given a five-week suspended ban and a €1,000 fine for contesting the decision of a match official. This may be because he argued with the referee after being called out for cheating. 

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As simulation increases in the game, punishments may need to get sterner to prevent the problem from becoming rife.

WATCH: The Rugby Pod review the opening round of the Guinness Six Nations and look ahead to round two

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Flankly 3 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

If rugby wants to remain interesting in the AI era then it will need to work on changing the rules. AI will reduce the tactical advantage of smart game plans, will neutralize primary attacking weapons, and will move rugby from a being a game of inches to a game of millimetres. It will be about sheer athleticism and technique,about avoiding mistakes, and about referees. Many fans will find that boring. The answer is to add creative degrees of freedom to the game. The 50-22 is an example. But we can have fun inventing others, like the right to add more players for X minutes per game, or the equivalent of the 2-point conversion in American football, the ability to call a 12-player scrum, etc. Not saying these are great ideas, but making the point that the more of these alternatives you allow, the less AI will be able to lock down high-probability strategies. This is not because AI does not have the compute power, but because it has more choices and has less data, or less-specific data. That will take time and debate, but big, positive and immediate impact could be in the area of ref/TMO assistance. The technology is easily good enough today to detect forward passes, not-straight lineouts, offside at breakdown/scrum/lineout, obstruction, early/late tackles, and a lot of other things. WR should be ultra aggressive in doing this, as it will really help in an area in which the game is really struggling. In the long run there needs to be substantial creativity applied to the rules. Without that AI (along with all of the pro innovations) will turn rugby into a bash fest.

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